Fighting Journal November 7, 1999
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Jean Paul's Fighting Page

November 7,1999 orthern Regional War Practice. Well, this was not one of the best times that I have ever had, but it was okay. I must admit, sometimes the mixed messages that you get can really get you down.

Case in point, attacking from behind in a melee. The way that I was told the rules, attacking from behind is acceptable if and only if

a) The person was engaged with you, and allows or facilitates your movement behind said person so that an attack from behind is possible, or

b) The person engages a line (either tight or a skirmish) and turns away from a portion of the line so as to allow an attack from behind to occur, or

Condition a) also requires that you as the attacker, stay in range with the person you are maneuvering around the whole time. That is meant to cover the condition where you are engaged with person #1, he leaves your range, then ten seconds later, while he is no longer paying attention, hit him then.

So here's the scenario, Llygodin (Knight Marshall of Weisenfeuer) and I are engaged with Viggen, one of Earl Barn's squire. Viggen commits to an engagement with Llygodin, and I run around his left side until I am behind him. I give him a second to realize I am there, and then I smack him lightly in the back of the head. Suddenly, everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

People start getting onto me, saying that what I did was wrong, and that I'm not supposed to atttack from behind. Then after I pointed out (a little bit defensively I must admit) that I had been range with him and he had turned from me, they started saying that although what I did was OK, but I shouldn't do it. I don't get it. The rules are fairly clear, what I did was allowed. If it is allowed, how is it dishonorable or wrong.

There are some things I just don't get.

On a better note, I commanded a few (two or three) of the battles from my side, and for the most part did really well. Although not very experienced, I feel fairly good about my endeavors in command. The only embarrassing part was when Barn joined my team, and I just expected him to take command, and he goes "Jean Paul, your in command" about 2 seconds before "Lay on" was called. I was flustered, and we got wiped pretty bad. Barn pointed out that becoming commander unforseenly does happen a lot, so I was just embarrassed, not upset.

We didn't really get the turnout that I had hoped to occur though, mainly because of short notice on the practice itself. Perhaps the next one (at Wastleland's Yule Revel) will go better. We did get bout 10 or 12 melee fights in, and that was pretty good.

On a different note, Sir Burke armored up for the first time that I had seen since I was rehabilitating my knee, and I got several fights in with him. I also got several very large, painful bruises from him ;-) The fights with him were good, but I have tended to notice a attitude about teaching from the knights in the north that I don't feel I personally will use. The knights up here will tend to do the

Step 1) hit you in a spot

Step 2) then tell you why you were so obviously open

With Burke, I go out there and say "Hey, I have only fought a left hander about twice before, and none of your caliber. Are there any pointers that you would like to give me?"

Sir Burke sez, "Don't get hit".

"Thanks, I say".

So we square off, <WHAM> Burke hits me in my shoulder. "You're falling for the fake wrap, and overcommitting your shield. Don't do that."

"OK". We face each other again. <BOFFO!> Burke tags my hip. "Don't step forward with the right leg. It'll come out from behind the shield, and its an easy target."

"Ow!! Ok", I say again. <ZOWIE!> Burke hits me in the ribs. "Don't pull your shield so close to your body. It opens you up for the wrap."

At this point, I say "BURKE! Is there any other hints you'd like to tell me before hitting me?" at which point he and the assembled group starts chuckling. At this point, Barn and Sir Alric come over and give me some pointers about correct shield position and footwork, and although I still did not win any fights versus Burke, I gave him a couple of tussles.

The point that bothers me is, couldn't they have told me some of the points first? I admitted I wanted help and asked for it, but none was forthcoming. Bunny and Asoph told me that most of the northern knights believed in the "Instruction-through-pain" attitude, but I feel that when confronting a new or obviously outmatched opponent, telling them "If you do 'A', then I will do 'B' to you" and then doing it would be more instructive (and less damaging) to new fighters than "You did 'A', so I did 'B'" to you.

I would liken it to a good parent saying, "If you take that cookie, I will spank you" and when the child does it, you spank them, and the teaching is reinforced. Spanking the child and then saying "I did that because you took the cookie" in my mind engenders resentment and anger.

Well guys, I'm tired, and the keyboard I'm typing on is not ergonomic (ow) so I'm going to bed. Next missive probably after Three Kings.

Sweet Dreams All,

Jean Paul de Sens
Seconde, Lion Dragon Guard

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